Top Five Signs your dog has an Allergy

by Nancy Boland

Any pet can be affected by environmental allergens regardless of season. Most plants thrive, flower, and whither during spring, summer, so right now is the prime time for allergies to occur.

Regardless of location, blooming flowers, warmer or cooler temperatures, dryness, moisture, and other irritants to be dispersed into the atmosphere, which affect the eyes, nose, skin, and other body systems. Click here for more on Canine Allergies 101.

How do you know if your canine companion is suffering from allergies? Here are the Top Five Signs your dog has an Allergy:

Eye redness and discharge

Allergens enter the eyes and cause conjunctivitis and scleritis which appear as eye discharge, squinting, pawing at the eyes, and rubbing the face.

Ear discharge and ear scratching/head shaking

The ear canal and ear flap can accumulate allergens, become inflamed, and cause discomfort. Pets having ear inflammation are more prone infection with bacteria or yeast, which are often already present in the ear canal and given a better chance to thrive in the moist environment of the ear canal. Affected dogs can exhibit ear discharge, redness, scratching or pain.

Nasal discharge and sneezing

Dogs explore their environment using their strongest sense; the noses, so there’s a high possibility that environmental debris will enter the nasal passages and cause irritation. Sneezing may be occasional or frequent and nasal discharge can be thin, mucousy, or even bloody depending on how severe the allergy is.

Top Five Signs your dog has an Allergy

Coughing, gagging, and swallowing

The same allergens that enter the nasal passages also end up in the mouth and trachea. Additionally, the nose and mouth connect in an area called the oropharynx, so nasal discharge easily trickles down into the throat. Coughing, gagging, and increased swallowing are common signs of respiratory allergens.

Licking, chewing, scratching

Dermatitis (skin inflammation) makes dogs lick, chew and scratch.  Affected sites include the feet, armpits and side. Areas with  skin folds and places where moisture can settle are also common areas for dermatitis to occur. A pet’s efforts to provide themselves relief can cause areas of severe inflammation, infection, and hair loss leading to pyotraumatic dermatitis, otherwise known as hot spots.

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